[Evangelism] Article: Is Plone a Good CMS

Dylan Jay djay at pretaweb.com
Tue Aug 11 13:32:00 UTC 2009

On 03/08/2009, at 7:56 PM, Matt Hamilton wrote:

> On 23 Jul 2009, at 09:34, Matt Hamilton wrote:
>> On 21 Jul 2009, at 21:00, Matt Hamilton wrote:
>>> Janus Boye just published an article entitled 'Is Plone a Good CMS?'
>>> http://www.jboye.com/blogpost/is-plone-a-good-cms/
>>> A fairly even article saying basically 'Danish Govt say Plone is a  
>>> good CMS, but is it fair that they pick one?'
>> There are some fantastic comments at the bottom of this post now by  
>> Martin Aspeli and Ken Wasetis. Great work guys, some nice insights  
>> into 'big firm' consulting and how they go about things.
> In a further development on this, I privately emailed Janus to ask  
> him:
> "One question to a point slightly raised on your
> post. You mention that Plone consulting companies are generally quite
> small.  How does this compare to the other Open Source systems you
> mentioned, ie. Umbraco, Liferay, Typo3? Do they have larger consulting
> companies?"
> As I was genuinely interested to see if Plone consulting companies  
> are *really* smaller than others, or if it is just a perception  
> thing. His response as this:
> "I would say Umbraco has been the most successful in attracting larger
> consulting companies. I am speculating this may be due to large
> consultancies with .NET skills using Umbraco as a low-end  
> alternative to
> commercial systems such as EPiServer and Sitecore.
> Let me know your thoughts and then I'll write a blog about it."
> This is a very interesting point. So he is saying that there are  
> some larger companies using other .NET CMSs such as EPiServer and  
> Sitecore, but when that company needs to do something low end they  
> are using Umbraco.
> So is this a good thing? What does it mean to the Plone community?  
> Are there companies out there that say something like 'We normally  
> use Vignette, but in this smaller case we will use Plone'?
> At the moment I think we are often trying to pitch against the big  
> boys saying our system can do everything they can. But maybe the  
> message that Umbraco is using is 'we are lighter/smaller/quicker/ 
> cheaper etc' than the big boys. I know in reality Plone can/does use  
> both messages.
> What are your thoughts? I want to gather them up to send to Janus.

Still haven't worked out how best to reply. You're talking about both  
marketing positioning and company size. I'm not sure if they are  
With regard to positioning, we tend to put plone at the bigger end.  
It's like sitecore etc but more flexible due to being open source  
(more integration hooks) and lower total cost of ownership). However  
unlike you Umbraco it's not .net or java so it's going to be headache  
if they want to support it internally so it almost has to be better  
than the alternatives for many in enterprise to accept it. So perhaps  
we should be looking at what Plone really can do better [1]

As for consulting company size. My guess is that because Plone  
requires a big learning curve so it's an investment for any consulting  
firm take on for occasional use, even if they were a python shop. That  
means most Plone shops specialise in it. But my guess is as good as  

[1] for me plone's strength lies in it's filesystem like model that  
allows people to build up very different solutions using building  
blocks with quite sophisticated delegation of tasks. I wish there was  
a nice buzz word for that.

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